Sonae concludes sale of 25% of food retailing unit to CVC

  • Lusa
  • 19 August 2021

In the deal, Sonae MC was valued at around €2.4 billion, its parent company said at the time, adding that the transaction should be completed in August.

Sonae SGSP, a Portugal-based conglomerate, has concluded the sale of 24.99% of Sonae MC, its food retailing unit, to Camoens Investments, an entity owned by CVC Advisers, and has also enlarged the unit’s board to include two fund managers from the new shareholder, according to two releases sent via the country’s securities markets regulator, the CMVM.

In one of the notes, the company “hereby announces that the transaction regarding the sale of 24.99% of the share capital of Sonae MC, SGPS, S.A. to Camoens Investments S.a.r.l., an entity that is indirectly owned by funds advised by CVC Advisers Company (Luxembourg) S.a.r.l., has been completed today on the terms announced to the market on July 31st, 2021.”

In a separate statement, Sonae MC said that at an extraordinary general meeting a decision had been taken to increase the number of members of the board of directors to 12 members from the current nine for the remainder of their current term, from 2018 to 2021.

Among the directors are now two CVC managers, Jan Reinier Voûte and Pablo Julian Costi Ruiz, who the company’s website states are managing partner and senior managing director, respectively. The Sonae MC board is chaired by Cláudia Azevedo.

In a statement sent on 31 July to the CMVM, Sonae SGPS revealed that the deal, valued at €528 million, provides for a deferred contingent consideration of up to approximately €63 million to be paid to Sonae.

In the deal, Sonae MC was valued at around €2.4 billion, its parent company said at the time, adding that the transaction should be completed in August, was not subject to any preconditions and was not expected to generate any plus or minus value for Sonae SGPS.

“This transaction allows Sonae SGPS to partner with a top-tier investor to support the growth plan of Sonae MC, while retaining a controlling position in a pivotal asset in its portfolio,” reads the July statement. “This partnership is part of Sonae SGPS’s active portfolio management strategy, aiming to put in place the optimal shareholder structure for each of its businesses and joining forces with highly experienced partners.”

Sonae MC is described as “the leading grocery retailer in Portugal” with almost 1,000 directly operated shops, €5.2 billion in turnover and €527 million in underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) in the previous 12 months, “comprising a multi-format portfolio to capture all shopping missions and having one of the most recognised brands in Portugal.”

Of the stake’s buyers, the statement described CVC funds as “internationally renowned financial investors with a successful track record in establishing partnerships around the world” and that Sonae was “excited” about the new partnership.

“We believe that this long-term relationship will further strengthen Sonae MC, as well as its growth strategy,” the statement quoted Cláudia Azevedo as saying. “This partnership with one of the world’s most successful institutional investors validates the solid historical performance of Sonae MC and its team, especially after the challenges posed by the pandemic.

“At Sonae, we are very proud of Sonae MC’s journey and excited about the opportunity to continue to support its growth”, she said.